The Hamilton Museum of Steam and Technology is located in the City of Hamilton’s first waterworks, completed in 1859. Responding to devastating cholera epidemics in the mid-19th Century, the waterworks operated for 51 years and saved thousands of lives by providing access to clean water for all inhabitants.
The waterworks was powered by two 65,000kg 15m high steam engines. They are the oldest surviving Canadian-made engines. The site is the most intact preserved 19th Century waterworks in North America.
The museum interprets the history of public works and water sustainability through public tours, exhibits and special events. The museum also interprets the industrial heritage of the area and, therefore, interprets both the economic impact of access to clean water and the pressure on the resource from industrial development.
The museum is one component of the Hamilton Civic Museums, a portfolio of 9 facilities owned by the municipality. They include 6 designated National Historic Sites, 1 local community museum, 1 Children’s Museum and 1 military museum. As a network, they are mandated to preserve, present and sustain the heritage of Hamilton while improving the lives of Hamiltonians. More than 225,000 visitors experience the museums every year.
While the work of SDG #6 is centered on the Hamilton Museum of Steam and Technology, all units of the Hamilton Civic Museums are engaged. Of note is the work of the Dundurn National Historic Site in strengthening relationships with indigenous groups and embracing indigenous knowledge.
The municipal government is committed to the 4 pillars of sustainability (social, environmental, economic and cultural) in all its practice. The work of the museum system reflects this commitment.